Full weekend of activity starting with Friday action. Next is the NFL and college basketball and we look deeper into line moves and where the oddsmakers could be on Saturday and Sunday. Take a minute to review all the betting trends and our free picks (Slight leans no longer graded), to see what we are thinking. Otherwise, see you back here Monday with more line moves.
NBA – (857) PORTLAND at (858) BROOKLYN 7:35 ET CSNW, YES
With Portland 15th in scoring (101.2 PPG) and Brooklyn 29th (95.6 PPG), you would not expect to see one of the largest totals moves in weeks in the NBA from 199.5 to 204. Yet, this is exactly what has occurred and why is defense or the lack of it might be the driving force. The Trail Blazers in their past eight contests have given up 105.1 PPG and the Nets have allowed 104.3 PPG. Understand the reasoning, just not buying it with Brooklyn inability to score and 24-15 UNDER record this season.
Betting Trend – 60% backing Under
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Under
CBB – (877) CANISIUS at (878) MANHATTAN 7:00 ET
In theory, Manhattan switched from -2 to +1 makes sense if you believe in the previous contest eight days ago. The Jaspers were 10-point road underdogs at Canisius and following the standard premise of four points for home teams, this works out. But oddsmakers made Manhattan a favorite because they won that game 94-86 and have taken three of four SU and ATS, compared to the Golden Griffins, who are on 0-4 SU and ATS downer. I will lean with the home team who has won 15 of past 18 at home versus Canisius.
Betting Trend – 59% backing Manhattan
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Manhattan
NHL – (5) CHICAGO at (6) TORONTO 7:05 ET CSCH, TSN4
There must be some hunch players out there, because no explanation for Chicago falling from -140 to -120 on the money line riding a nine-game winning streak. Toronto has lost three in a row, been outscored 12-2, while the Blackhawks defense has been tighter than Kim Kardashian in leather pants, in permitting 13 goals in last eight outings. No way I’m going against team that is 8-0 after conceding two or fewer goals in last contest. Do not be surprised if this goes back up by game time.
Betting Trend – 90% backing Chicago
Doug’s VPID Take – Chicago wins
NFL – (301) KANSAS CITY at (302) NEW ENGLAND 4:35 ET CBS
With the Kansas City defense stifling everything, football bettors have lowered this total from 45 to 42.5. What they forecast is the Chiefs defense having success again New England offensive line, which has all kinds of injuries problems up and down the line all season. Getting back left tackle Sebastian Vollmer will be a positive for the Patriots, but we will have to see how effective he actually is during the game when Kansas City dials up pass rush. Rumors out of Kansas City have receiver Jeremy Maclin very iffy, which really leaves a void in the Chiefs passing game. Coach Andy Reid tends to be conservative anyways in the postseason and this could mean kicker Cairo Santos could be even more busy. Kansas City arrives 13-3 UNDER after six or more consecutive wins. Update – With news Rob Gronkowski might be battling more injures than initially known, the total has dipped again to 42. This is shaping up as defensive struggle.
Betting Trend – 76% backing Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Under
NFL – (303) GREEN BAY at (304) ARIZONA 8:15 ET NBC
In the matchup three weeks ago, the oddsmakers made Arizona a touchdown favorite just like this time and by the Thursday of Week 16, the Cardinals flew all the way to -9. When the weekend came, underdog bettors and those keyed into key numbers began taking Green Bay and the closing number was -6 or -6.5. Unless some betting group comes in, I don’t expect this number to change. Green Bay will have motivation edge because of blowout loss, but Arizona also wants to prove that Seattle setback was an anomaly. Cards have definite edge on rest with 13 days off and Packers on just six. The last total closed at 50 and this one began at 49.5 and was moved to 50. I’m not among those believing everything is fixed for Packers offensively and Arizona scoring 38 points last time was because of their defense. If anything I can see the total coming down, with Pack 7-1 UNDER after playing their last game on the road this season. Update – No movement on Arizona being favored and the total bounces back and forth from 49.5 to 50.
Betting Trend – 60% backing Arizona and 76% on Over
Doug’s VPID Take – Arizona covers and Under
NFL – Sunday (305) SEATTLE at (306) CAROLINA 1:05 ET FOX
In Vegas, several sportsbooks opened Carolina as a -1 or -1.5 favorite over Seattle on the ‘virgin line’ and specialized clients took the Panthers after the Seahawks fortunate victory over Minnesota. When the spread was made available to the rest of the general public, Carolina was at -3, where it has stood since early in the week. The total is at 44 and to start the week, eight of 10 tickets written were on the OVER, but this has meant nothing to the books yet, who have held steadfast. Betting this total would seem to be a byproduct of what you believe who covers. If you prefer Seattle, backing the UNDER would seem correct and they are 8-0 UNDER after allowing 200 or less total yards in their previous game. Carolina and the OVER look like a match, with the Panthers 6-0 OVER coming off a win by 10 or more. Update – Nothing happening on the total in terms of movement, but wagers on OVER is down to 60 percent. The side is back to original beginning with the Panthers at -1.
Betting Trend – 66% backing Carolina
Doug’s VPID Take – Carolina covers
CBB – (541) VILLANOVA at (542) GEORGETOWN 1:00 ET CBS
So much for preseason preparing you for league play as Georgetown lost to UNC-Asheville, Monmouth and Radford, yet has started 4-1 in the Big East and could be tied for first place with a victory. The Hoyas slate has not been loaded, facing DePaul twice and St. John’s, thus we find out if they have really improved against Villanova, who is 5-0 and 4-0-1 against the number off an ATS loss.
Anticipated Line – Villanova by 7-9 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Villanova (at these numbers)
CBB – (545) NOTRE DAME at (546) DUKE 2:00 ET ESPN2
Not the best time for Notre Dame to visit Durham, with the Blue Devils off a defeat in which they tallied only 63 points at Clemson and were in foul trouble all night. Offensively the Irish should be fine, but this is nowhere close to same defensive team which made the Elite 8 last March. Duke is 10-0 and 6-2-1 ATS ATS at Krzyzewskiville.
Anticipated Line – Duke by 9-11 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Duke covers
CBB – (547) MIAMI-FL at (548) CLEMSON 2:00 ET W-ESPN
After losing five times in nonconference action, the last thing you would have expected was Clemson to start 4-1 in ACC play knocking off Florida State, Syracuse, Louisville and Duke. But thanks to great defense and getting to the free throw line, the Tigers have been superb. Miami has the kind of guard play which could present Clemson trouble, however, the Hurricanes are 0-2 ATS (1-1 SU) in true road games thus far.
Anticipated Line – Miami by 3 to 5 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Clemson
CBB – (589) WEST VIRGINIA at (590) OKLAHOMA 4:00 ET ESPN2
Oklahoma has outstanding guards led by potential Wooden Award winner Buddy Hield, but it will be interesting to see how they handle “Press” Virginia. The Mountaineers beat No.1 Kansas by 11, despite shooting 33.3 percent from the field, going 3 for 12 from behind the arc, while the Jayhawks made 10 of 20 three-point tosses. But West Virginia has 12 steals, forced 22 turnovers and Bill Self’s team only attempted 48 shots. Bob Huggins team is 3-0 (1-2 ATS) on the road and it will be worth watching to see if press works against top shelf squad on the road.
Anticipated Line – Oklahoma by 4 to 6 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Oklahoma
CBB – Sunday (843) MICHIGAN at (844) IOWA 4:30 ET BTN
Breaking News: Forget, Michigan State, Purdue and Maryland, the best team in the Big Ten is Iowa, at least right now. The Hawkeyes already have three wins over the first two squads mentioned, two on the road and since losing at Iowa State by a point after holding big lead, they have shown not only great skill, but mental toughness, something which has been lacking the last few years. Michigan has the talent and coaching to keep this close even on the road, but untold secret to Iowa is their length on defense, which annoys opponents.
Anticipated Line – Iowa by 7 to 9 points
Doug’s VPID Take – Lean Iowa